Jury selection to begin Thursday ahead of George Thomas retrial

Jury selection to begin Thursday ahead of George Thomas retrial

Posted:
George Thomas (Source: Knox County) George Thomas (Source: Knox County)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Hundreds of potential jurors will go before a judge on Thursday as jury selection gets underway for the retrial of Christian-Newsom defendant George Thomas.

Thomas is being tried for a second time for his role in the deaths of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

Back in December 2009, jurors found Thomas guilty of the most severe forms of all 38 counts against him including especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape and theft of property.

He was given a life sentence without the chance of parole.

But after he was sentenced, former judge Richard Baumgartner revealed that he had been abusing prescription pain pills while presiding over Thomas' trial.

Because much of the evidence that originally implicated Thomas was based on witness testimony, the special judge assigned to the case, Judge Walter Kurtz, said he could not serve as 13th juror because he had not observed the witness testimony himself.

He therefore granted Thomas a new trial.

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) said that a pool of 480 people had been subpoenaed to take part in jury selection for Thomas' retrial.

Jury selection is slated to begin at 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Davidson County.

Attorneys said they expect to have a jury seated for the case by Friday.

The trial is scheduled to begin May 13 in Knox County.

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